This year marks the 100th anniversary of one of the earliest ever electronic musical instruments, the Theremin. To mark the occasion, Moog Music are releasing a special limited edition model of their own, named after its inventor Lev Sergeyevich Termen (aka Leon Theremin), and its most celebrated virtuoso, Clara Rockmore.
The Claravox Centennial Theremin combines the original instrument’s electromagnetic proximity-based operation with either analogue or digital sound generation. Players can select Traditional mode to invoke the heterodyne oscillators used in Moog’s Etherwave Pro, or they can opt for Modern mode, which grants access to a range of digital oscillators including sine, triangle, saw and wavetable, across a range of octaves and with the ability to quantise notes and lock them to a scale.
In either setting, the sound can be passed through the instrument’s on-board analogue bucket-brigade delay which, say Moog, allows you to create “a wash of spiralling echoes and resounding warmth”.
Integration between the Claravox Centennial Theremin and the wider world is catered for by the inclusion of 5-pin DIN MIDI, USB MIDI and CV connectivity, with further nods to modernity coming in the form of a preset system and even a software editor.
Moog are describing it as a “statement piece”, and the trimmings — a fine-grain walnut cabinet, brass antennae, and cloth-bound control panels — are certainly commensurate with a limited-edition Moog. That said, pricing is more accessible than you might imagine, at £1519 including VAT (the optional stand will set you back a further £269). The Claravox Centennial Theremin is due to go on sale in December, and we’ll be bringing you an exclusive review in due course. In the mean time, click below to hear it in the hands of an expert...